tv Asia Insight PBS May 25, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
with four major companies comprising 60% of south korea's gpd, a person's success in life is determined by the size of the firm they work for. new graduates as well as continuing job seekers are applying for major firms, heating up competition. only one out of more than 700 applicants will be accepted by the very top firms. abandoned generation has become a buzz word, referring to young people who had to give up something important because they couldn't land jobs. desperation radio, an online radio program that began in august of 2015 has become the talk of the town.
>> yong became a social activist two years ago. she started the radio program to discuss the flight of young people. >> during the program, deejays read outleters from young people about their frustrations with society and their life in poverty. the program offers no criticism or advice. she said the most important goal of the program is to convey reality and raise awareness of their problems.
>> most young people take their resume photo at a full-fledged studio. the shoot costs $70. job hunting costs at least $2500 per year. intensive courses and certification cost the same amount as two month's salary at a small enterprise. as in her case, many firms do not accept certifications obtained overseas.
>> several days later, she learned she didn't advance from the interview. the unemployment rate for young people stood at 12.5% in february of 2016. that's the worst figure since 1999, wen a new statistical method was employed. chong is an economist and professor ameritas at seoul national university. he served as prime minister in 2009.
university. he's concentrating his job hunting efforts on major firms. on this day, he got together with peers who were also aiming for similar jobs. all the conversation was related to job hunting. >> can they really land jobs at major firms? these young job seekers know they face unfavorable odds. but with success on the line, they can't give up.
expectations on his shoulders. his life began going astray in the summer of his senior year. he suddenly lost the ability to read. he says it was a psychological disorder caused by stress. after that, he got into college but soon dropped out. his parts got divorced, and now he lives alone while working part time. he makes $5 an hour at his part-time job. that means no matter how hard he works, he can only pay for rent, food, and counseling.
>> in south korea, male citizens must complete mandatory military service by the age of 30. this is a difficult prospect, who has little control over his life. he lives in an apartment behind a shopping district. the bathroom and kitchen are shared. each bedroom is about five square meters. rent is $230 a month. there are a few apartments that are cheaper or smaller.
>> he will turn 30 next year and says if he can't land a prestigious job before then, he will find a new path to happiness while working at an ordinary job. yung, who vocalizes young people's voices on desperation radio, has decided to run for public office. >> the listeners who want to build their own futures are supporting her.
>> this abandoned generation of young south koreans has had no choice but to give up on their streams amidst a widening economic gap. the ideals that they had envisioned while studying hard for the entrance exams are crumbling before their eyes. but in order to survive each day, they continue to sacrifice and work hard in hopes of creating a bright future for themselves. ♪
welcome to nhk "newsline." we're bringing you continuing coverage from the international media center. abe is getting ready to kick off the summit. he sat down for a one-on-one meeting with u.s. president barack obama. the leaders discussed global concerns such as the economy and terrorism. abe also raised an issue. he said he lost a protest with obama on the